BOOKS

Classical Literature: An Epic Journey From Homer To Virgil And Beyond

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I increasingly find my reading list packed with books reviewed in the Wall Street Journal’s opening editorial page or in the excellent “Review” section of the weekend Journal. Such is the case with this slim book by Richard Jenkyns, emeritus Professor of the Classical Tradition and the Public Orator at the University of Oxford. He calls his volume “a survey of classical antiquity,” the literature of Greece and Rome from their earliest appearance through roughly the 1st century A.D. Jenkyns offers deeply informed and learned opinions about classical writers and their works created during decades of deep study and consideration. He shares these illuminating views with his readers with passion and joy, making CLASSICAL LITERATURE a delight to read. The only problem with this book is that it fosters the desire to revisit texts that many of us last touched in a college honors class. Like a good professor, Jenkyns has called for some additional homework. I can see adding Iliad and Odyssey to the reading stack, as well as the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as a few of the works of the Greek playwrights. The shelf of books waiting to read just got heavier.
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After three years preparing The Triumph of William McKinley by reading very little but books, letters, articles and newspapers from the Gilded Age, I’m trying to get back into my regular routine, which I’ll chronicle here with an occasional review of what I’ve read.

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A massive British invasion fleet nears the coast, its target a key port on the far edge of the United States. 

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Not only does this volume have the best title of any book I’ve read in the past year, but it will keep you on the edge of your chair until you finish this tale.

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This is a riveting tale of brotherly love, tested in a time of global war.  The characters are vividly drawn, the action riveting and the suspense almost overwhelming. 

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My copy of PORTRAITS OF COURAGE arrived and I thumbed through it, expecting to take a quick look before adding it to my reading stack and getting to it in a few days.


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